Lamb Shanks Kleftico

Next up on my Pasture to Plate order was organic lamb shanks. I’m normally a rack of lamb sort of person but I have to admit that the lamb Kleftico at Maria’s Taverna here in Kits is pretty amazing. They use lamb shoulder and this recipe uses shank¬† so we’ll see what happens. This recipe is based on Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks from with some variations. Sorry I forgot to take a photo before it got eaten…oops.


  • 2 lamb shanks (about 1 lb)
  • zest and juice of one large lemon
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp sake (or dry white wine) – I had sake and no wine so there you go
  • 1/2 fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled put through a garlic press
  • 1 Tbsp dried Greek oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes (drained)
  • 2 2″ cinnamon sticks
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 onions peeled and cut in rounds for a rack (use carrots cut in lengths if you prefer)
  • Small potatoes (enough to feed 2 people)


  1. Mix the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, sake (or wine), pepper, garlic, oregano and cumin together.
  2. Put the shanks in a plastic bag or container and pour over the marinade coating well.
  3. Marinade in the fridge overnight (turn it a few times if you remember).
  4. Take the lamb out of the fridge while you get the slow cooker ready.
  5. Turn the head to low and place the onions in the bottom.
  6. Add the meat and marinade and spoon the tomatoes around.
  7. Add the salt, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf. Pop the top on and slow cook for 6-8 hours or until the meat is tender.
  8. during the last hour, toss your potatoes with some olive oil, salt and pepper and pop them into a 350F oven for 30 minutes to brown and soften.
  9. When the lamb is tender, remove it from the slow cooker and cover with foil to keep it warm.
  10. Remove potatoes from the oven and put them in the slow cooker and let them cook for another 45 minutes to an hour (until very soft). Add the lamb back to the slower cooker to heat it through. Check and adjust your seasonings, if necessary.

Serve with whatever sides you like and some good bread.



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